Migrante fears whitewash on Allan Rafael case, calls for independent probe

OFW advocacy group Migrante International expressed doubts about the on-going NBI-led investigation into the case of ex-OFW cancer-patient Allan Rafael who was allegedly robbed, tortured and killed by cops stationed at Barbosa Police Precinct in Quiapo, Manila.

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“We cannot simply entrust the investigation to NBI or to PNP and expect impartiality. As what we’ve seen in the cases of Carl Arnaiz and Reynaldo ‘Kulot’ De Guzman, the murder charges against the tagged policemen were dismissed. We fear that Rafael’s case will be handled similarly. We call for a re-autopsy of Rafael’s body as part of an independent and impartial probe,” Migrante Philippines Chairperson Arman Hernando said.

In a fact sheet, Migrante pointed out the flaws in the police statements as they contradicted the family’s narrative. The police claim that Rafael died from shortness of breath but his family belied the cops’ account of the story insisting that while still alive, the victim recounted the torture and the beatings he went through under police custody to compel him to confess drug use based on his frail and emaciated physical appearance. Rafael contended that he had chest surgery and has been undergoing a series of chemotherapy cancer treatments for his lymphoma. He even challenged the police to subject him to drug test which the latter refused.

Based on reports, Rafael also related that prior to his detention, police officers stole his watch and forced him to withdraw cash. At the police station, his belongings were forcibly taken: his watch, his mobile phone, wallet and motorcycle. The family also revealed that the PNP officers offered to drop the charges against Rafael if they hand over Php35,000. His family also decried Rafael’s embalmment without their consent and without the requisite autopsy.

Hernando of Migrante maintained his fears by slamming the promotions received by Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna who is now Bulacan’s top provincial police chief and Caloocan Regional Trial Court judge Georgina Dumpit who was appointed by Duterte as associate justice of the Sandiganbayan last June after the dismissal of the murder case against the Caloocan cops involved in the slaying of teenagers Carl Arnaiz and Reynaldo “Kulot” De Guzman. Recently, Bersaluna also figured conspicuously again after the violent dispersal and arrests of striking NutriAsia workers, their supporters and some media personnel.
Hernando also gave reference to the case of Kian delos Santos, a son of an OFW who died in an Oplan Tokhang operation of the Caloocan police in August 2017. A year after, his case remains unresolved.

“We enjoin everyone in the community and the church to push for more vigilance to ensure that there will be no whitewash in the cases of Kian and Allan. We call on our kababayans who supported the #OFWs4Kiancampaign to speak out for the pursuit of #JusticeForAllan. Together, let us raise our voices even louder against Duterte’s fake drug war and demand for an end to all these killings,” Hernando said.

In their pursuit for justice, Migrante offered assistance to the family and also called on all witnesses to come out and coordinate with their organization for the independent probe. ###

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